CSBC Sunday School: Proverbs Series/Song of Solomon
Lesson #13: Song of Solomon 5:6-16
August 30, 2020
Resources: Phillips; Braddy; MacArthur; McCrary, B. Jennings, Explore the Bible
HOOK: (Why should we listen to this lesson?)
Central Theme: RELATIONAL INVESTMENTS!
Objective Statement: EVERY BELIEVER CAN HAVE RELATIONAL INVESTMENTS BY RECOGNIZING THREE NEEDS IN OUR MARRIAGES AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
Points: NEED #1 – THE CRY FOR COMPANIONSHIP! NEED #2 – THE CALL FOR REMEMBERING! NEED #3 – THE CRUX FOR CELEBRATING!
- FOCUS ATTENTION: At different phases of our lives we tend to invest in different priorities. WHEN WE WERE YOUNG WHAT WERE SOME OF THE THINGS WE INVESTED IN? We tended to invest in careers, or cars, or education, or entertainment. As we get older, we make different kinds of investments. WHAT TRENDS DO WE USUALLY CONSIDER TO INVEST IN AS WE GET OLDER? We are inclined to invest in homes, bass boats (yes, that’s an important investment), mutual funds, CD’s, or retirement plans. Our needs change across time and so do our perspectives on what matters most. Sometimes we may overlook the wisdom and value of investing in relationships, beginning with our connection with God.
- CONTEXT: Let’s summarize the rest of the book of Song of Solomon 5-8, where the man and the woman in the poem are now married and learning how to live as one as they grow in their relationship. Early on in their marriage, they demonstrated the value of investing in each other instead of giving up on one another when they faced conflict. They resolved their conflict and affirmed each other. She described him in loving ways that underscored her love for him. He told her that he had never seen anyone more beautiful. Her physical appearance contributed to her beauty, but so did her strength of character that made her a virtuous woman (Song of Sol. 5:2 – 6:13). The man put his wife on his chariot one day and rode through the city with her so everyone could see her beauty. He spoke privately with her about her beauty. He described her with word pictures that captured the depth of his love for her and his longing to be with her. In response, she assured him of her absolute confidence in him. Once, more, she affirmed that their exclusive marriage bond involved only the two of them. Earlier she expressed her certainty that the two of them belonged to each other (2:16). They were completely committed to each other, and their mutual commitment allowed them to give themselves to each other, physically and emotionally, without any reservation (6:13 – 7:10). Because of her trust in the love they shared, she took the initiative to strengthen their marriage by getting him away from home for a little while. She invited him to leave the city and take a trip with her to a location far away from his work. There the two of them could enjoy each other’s company with nothing to distract them. With spring in the air, the countryside would be the perfect setting for them to be together. Although she cherished private moments with him, she also longed for the opportunity to allow everyone to see the love that she had in her heart for him. Most of all, she wanted him with her always (7:10 – 8:4). Toward the end of the poem, the man and the woman appeared together again on his chariot. She leaned on him as they made their way into the city. She talked with him about her desire for him to keep her in his heart. Then she described the resilience of their love. Like death, nothing could stop it. Like fire, love consumed everything in its flames. Just as her husband owned vineyards, she owned her life, and she had given it to him (8:5-14).
- Let’s Explore the Bible in Song of Solomon 5:6-16.
BOOK: (What does the Bible say?)
NEED #1 – THE CRY FOR COMPANIONSHIP! (Song of Solomon 5:6-8)
- The episode that begins in 6, appears to be a dream sequence. Earlier, the woman talked about a dream in which she searched for her beloved (3:1-5). Now, she recalled another dream in which she looked for her “beloved,” who now was her husband. She wanted him and needed him, but he wasn’t there. Her “heart” broke over his apparently mysterious and sudden departure. WHAT DO YOU THINK IT MEANS WHEN SHE SAID, “MY SOUL FAILED WHEN HE SPAKE?” BUT HE WASN’T THERE? Well, since he was already “gone” she must be reflecting back upon their last conversation. Maybe their last words were spoken in anger or with emotion. She didn’t like the way they had left things. She had regrets that their last words were not words of love and affirmation. Now, as her dream continues, she feels like she must find her husband to get things resolved. She “could not find him” as she “called” out his name in the hope he would return to her, but he didn’t “answer.” In desperation, she leaves their home and begins to search through the city which was not a good choice.
- Verse 7, gives us a description of what happened next to the wife as she seems to still be dreaming. What took place that would likely have never really happened to this woman? WHY WOULD WE CONCLUDE THAT? She was married to King Solomon of Israel. For that reason, she would never have been mistreated by the “watchmen” of the city. They knew to abuse the King’s wife would have resulted in the death penalty. In her dream, however, they wounded her and then disgraced her, when they “took away my veil from me.” That left her immodestly uncovered and in that day she would have been totally embarrassed and ashamed. They showed cruelty by striking her and injuring her. The beating she endured probably served as a figurative way to describe the deep emotional pain she felt over the mysterious departure of her true love. His disappearance had left her wounded by disappointment, despair, confusion, and perhaps regret. Being left alone without her husband broke her heart. Even in her dream sequence, these were vivid emotions that impacted her. Verse 8, the woman sought the help of the “daughters of Jerusalem,” to locate her beloved and communicate to him her undying love. The urgency of her plea suggested the depth of her desire to reconcile with him. Six times in this chapter the wife referred to her husband as her “love.” The painful cry of the woman sheds light on the need for couples to work at their marriage relationship by being present for each other. Marriages can get into trouble when spouses are distant from each other emotionally even though they’re present physically. Being intentional about being there for each other makes a marriage stronger.
NEED #2 – THE CALL FOR REMEMBERING! (5:9)
- You would expect the women of Jerusalem to help their friend find her beloved. But instead of accommodating her, they asked her to answer a question. WHAT DO THESE WOMEN ASK THE WIFE TO EXPLAIN? Up to this point, every time the young women of Jerusalem appear they have been helpful and willing to be a blessing to their friend. But here they ask a question rather than immediately try to help. They want to know why the newlywed thinks her husband is “more than another beloved.” They replied by asking her a probing question that would prompt her to spend some time in reflection. Why is her man so valuable and worthy of their assistance? No doubt, the woman would recall all of their wonderful memories together as husband and wife. She would remember their undying commitment to one another in their wedding vows. Her exclusive commitment to him galvanized her unwavering love for him that took the shape of a lasting investment in their marriage. By way of application, this question deserves to be taken seriously by believers today. What makes a wife certain that her husband is better than another? By the same token, what prompts a husband to believe that his wife rises above any other woman? The answer to such questions can only be found in the bedrock commitments a husband and wife make to each other in marriage. The central commitment in marriage for Christian couples involves a mutual devotion to the Lord. Their joint loyalty to Him matters most of all. If they intend to grow in love for each other, they’re wise to focus on growing in God’s love for them and expressing it in their relationship with each other. Otherwise, their love for one another becomes little more than an emotional response to one another. That kind of love runs the risk of diminishing over time and perhaps even disappearing altogether. Christian couples demonstrate their investment in each other by staying faithful to one another. Nothing or nobody should be able to tear apart a man and a woman who have given themselves and their marriage to the Lord.
NEED #3 – THE CRUX FOR CELEBRATING! (Song of Solomon 5:10-16)
- The woman declared to the young women of Jerusalem that she loved the man, and she demonstrated her love with her eagerness to find him. She went on to tell them what she saw in him. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE ATTRIBUTES AND PHYSICAL FEATURES SHE LOVES ABOUT HER HUSBAND (vs. 10-16)? Now men, don’t get intimidated about this woman’s vision of her husband. Remember it’s a poem and certainly, there is some hyperbole and exaggeration. But she catalogs his features: in her eyes, he was extremely handsome; he is better than 10,000 other men. Starting from his “head” she painted a picture of him that is clearly influenced by love. He has a full head of “bushy” and “black” hair (some of us hate him already). He appears to be robust and energetic. She admires “his eyes” like those of “doves” full of tenderness and peace. His eyes are “washed with milk” revealing the whiteness of his eyes in contrast to his pupils. They were perfectly set just like gemstones ( 11-12). The reference to his “cheeks are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers” may refer to the fragrance of his cologne. He smelled very nice; even his lips were as “sweet-smelling myrrh.” So this woman is influenced by her senses of sight, smell, and even taste when talking about his lips (vs. 13). Verse 14 tells us the man she loved had strong, well-shaped “hands” that had the value and appearance of “gold” perhaps because they were well-tanned. She compared “his belly” to “bright ivory” in that it was rock-hard and smooth (How are you doing guys?). The woman added that the strong legs of her true love reminded her of “pillars of marble.” The “cedars” of “Lebanon” were well known for their towering beauty as they stood majestically on the mountains there (vs. 15). She describes his kisses in vs. 16 and then summarizes her love for him by saying, “he is altogether lovely.” Almost as if she doesn’t believe her blessings from God she concluded, “This is my beloved, and this is my friend, O daughters of Jerusalem” (vs. 16b).
LOOK: (Why is what it says important?)
Objective Statement (Repeated): EVERY BELIEVER CAN HAVE RELATIONAL INVESTMENTS BY RECOGNIZING THE THREE NEEDS IN OUR MARRIAGES AND OUR RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD!
- So what do you invest in? Do you invest in your marriage? Do you invest a significant amount of time and energy in your relationship with God? These are the things we should invest in more than anything else. Just as a couple must invest in their relationship, believers must also invest in their relationship with God. The key is to become FRIENDS!
TOOK: (Why is it important to me? What should I do with it?)
Evaluation: This week remember that Godly marriages are founded on a commitment to remain faithful to each other throughout life. Godly marriages include a mutual affirmation of one’s spouse. How are you doing in the investment you make to your marriage to see it succeed?
In preparation for our next Bible Study please read Isaiah 1 as that will begin our new adventure.